ITV Studios Global Entertainment is preparing for the 50th anniversary of its iconic children’s property Thunderbirds with a swathe of marketing promotions and licensing deals.
Celebrations will kick off this year at Glastonbury Festival, where Charles Hazlewood’s All Star Collective will perform a set written by Barry Gray, the man behind much of the music from the original Thunderbirds series.
The musical group is comprised of popular musicians such as Adrian Utley and Jason Hazeley from Portishead and Ross Hughes from Goldfrapp.
ITVS GE is also expanding its Thunderbirds Classic licensing programme as Titan Entertainment signs a worldwide deal to produce a series of Classic Thunderbirds Titans.
Targeting the collector’s market, these manga-style vinyl figures will be available through gift, high end and speciality retailers from March 2015.
Meanwhile, Jumbo Games has penned a deal to produce a range of Thunderbirds puzzles across the UK and Ireland. The collection includes two collector’s edition gift boxes, a Thunderbirds 50th anniversary 1000 piece puzzle and Thunderbirds Classic 1000 piece puzzle, all launching in January 2015.
In the board game sector, Modiphius is creating a Thunderbirds co-operative tabletop game from the man behind popular titles such as Pandemic and Forbidden Island. The game will launch in September next year.
The latest deals have taken the roster of Classic Thunderbirds licensees to 20 in the UK and over 20 internationally, including categories such as gifting, alarm clocks and accessories, figurines and publishing.
A further range of special products and limited editions based on new artwork will launch in 2015.
Trudi Hayward, senior vice president, global head of merchandise at ITVS GE, said: “The 50-year history of the Thunderbirds Classic brand and its amazing, enduring heritage brings with it huge retail awareness and confidence, consumer loyalty and demand for new content and products that is genuine, organic and simply cannot be engineered.
“With our sights set on the milestone anniversary and a new television series in the pipeline for 2015, I’m in no doubt that Thunderbirds presents a compelling long term commercial opportunity for our partners and it is a brand that will endure for many more decades to come.“